Transforming the Future celebrated at CALS annual donor recognition

A snowy weekend did not daunt the more than 400 guests who attended the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ annual donor recognition event, Feb. 17. Among the hundreds assembled at N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center for the occasion were CALS donors, scholarship and professorship recipients, faculty members, alumni and students, along with university administrators.

This year’s event highlighted the impacts donor-endowed scholarships, fellowships and professorships have made, while celebrating how donors, alumni, retirees and friends help the College transform the future.

The reception included around-the-room stations featuring CALS programs.

At an exhibit titled “Connecting University Research, Biofuels and STEM Careers to Youth,” 4-H’ers demonstrated a biofuels-from-potatoes process. From there guests moved to information booths from CALS Academic Programs (the ASPIRE project) and the Office of Diversity Affairs (Dale and Genia Bone Scholars), followed by an exhibit of the many dynamic programs at the Chatham County Center for Cooperative Extension and at N.C. the Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience. Just adjacent was a display of  the Center for Environmental Farming Systems’ (CEFS) agroecology education programs and its 10% Farm to Fork campaign to build the state’s local foods economy.

Among the most popular stops were exhibits from the CALS Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences: one featuring the FBNS-made Howling Cow ice cream and the other providing samples of FBNS-brewed beer.

The reception gave way to the more formal program, hosted by CALS sophomore Catherine Bartholf, an animal science (pre-vet) major from Pittsboro. Bartholf is recipient of the Dr. A. Gordon and Patricia L. Neville Animal Science Scholarship. “I thank my donors and all our generous donors for making the CALS experience more attainable and meaningful for us,” Bartholf said, before introducing Dr. Richard Linton, CALS dean.

Linton noted that the exhibits in the room showed how the College is transforming the future, and he thanked the CALS benefactors for their contributions to that success. “Students and faculty in our College are very fortunate that we have more than 700 endowments supporting our people and projects,” he said.

He then told about many changes under way in the College, including the coming move of four CALS departments to the university’s new College of Sciences, and announced the initiation of a new CALS strategic planning process.

Following the dean’s remarks was a video presentation featuring Dan Gerlach of Golden LEAF and Nelle Hotchkiss of the N.C. Association of Electric Cooperatives speaking about the ongoing value of investment in CALS programs, faculty and students; Gary Cartwright, director of the FBNS Dairy Enterprise System, recalling how scholarships made his N.C. State education possible; and Dr. Coby Schal, Blanton J. Whitmire Professor of Entomology, outlining the impact Whitmire’s generosity has made on urban entomology research.

“Those are only four of thousands of stories of how donors transform the future,” Bartholf said. “We thank you for your vital support of the College. We pledge to be good stewards of your investments and show you the real impacts of your generosity.”

— Terri Leith

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